OUR CHOICE

OUR CHOICE

God does not oppose our choice. He gave us a free will and lets us test our ability to manage our life as well as our affairs. He is not some horseman that puts bids in our mouth and makes us obey Him. There are people that have made such claims and still do but their end results contradict their claims. I too had such notions; only, at the end I got what I had set out to do. I had to make my choice and no one else.

I turned to Adam and Eve and the Bible tells us that they made their choice against the very will of God. The Creator did not stop them from making the mistake of all mistakes. He let the first couple separate themselves from Him and learn to explore life on their own. They made themselves unfit to remain in the Garden of Eden (Gen.4). This was also true of Israel as a nation. They asked for a king and their wish was granted. This too was against God’s original intentions. Against all the warnings by Samuel, the people demanded a king. In fact, God ordered Samuel to find them a king. It was the people’s choice to experience what it would be like living under a monarch and it was not what they had expected (I Sam.8-15).

Let us consult Jesus and what was his advice regarding our choice? His kingdom was not of this world (Jn.18: 36); yet, the Jewish leaders chose Caesar over the One God had sent (Jn.19: 15). They demanded that a violent Barabas be released and a peaceful Jesus be crucified (Jn.18: 40; 19: 17-22). In the parable of “The Ten Minas” Jesus predicted that the Jewish people did not want him to be king over them (Lk.19: 27). The peaceful Christian movement, in the fourth century justified the use of the sword by the Emperor Constantine. After Charlemagne became the Holy Roman Emperor in 800 AD, he converted the Germanic tribes by the sword. Then the Crusaders justified the use of the sword against Muslims. God did not stop any of these human choices.

How does all the above compare with our own political and religious conditions? Like our predecessors, we have made our choice. We have what we asked for and God did not intervene. It turns out that it is not what we had hoped for. Unlike God, human leadership is prone to err and selfish in intentions. With the first human couple, we find that the task of self-management is too enormous; and with Israel, we discovered that the king or president is too costly. Like in the days of Saul, government had become the largest burden of the nation. Government does not produce income. It takes by coercion income from the people that create income. Ultimately, the king or the government becomes the sole proprietor of a nation. Hence, a monarchy is no different from a socialistic system. The cheapest and most effective form of government was the Hebrew Theocracy and Jesus’ kingdom was even less costly. It only cost ten percent of the people’s income. Caesar’s income is not based on what people earn but on what people have. The description of Samuel still applies today (I Sam.8: 10-18). God does not stand in the way of our choice.